Young women from the San Fernando Valley will be well represented on Saturday, Sept. 25, at Hollywood’s John Anson Ford Theatre when Colibri Entertainment salutes the legacy of female mariachis for their fifth annual show, “¡Viva La Tradición!: La Mujer y El Mariachi.”
Uniquely accompanying the all-female musicians are two all-female dance troupes provided by the Valley’s own Ballet Folklorico Ollin, and Foklor Pasión Mexicana.
“It will be female power like never seen before,” proclaimed an enthusiastic Susie Garcia, executive director of Las Colibri and producer of the show. “Never before has there been a concert featuring solely female mariachis along with all-female folklorico dancers in a premier venue like the Ford.”
There are currently four members in Las Colibri (The Hummingbirds) from the City of San Fernando and surrounding areas — vocalist Sherline Lopez, Lorraine Feesago, Romina Huerta and Olympia Tril— who came through the city’s Mariachi Master Apprentice Program..
“Women from various cities, not only from the San Fernando Valley and areas throughout Los Angeles but representing both the East and West Coast and Mexico, will converge on one stage to celebrate culture and female empowerment and pay tribute to the trailblazers before them,” Garcia said.
This bi-national celebration of women will feature three of the world’s greatest female mariachi ensembles, each with their own approach to the genre.
“From Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mariachi Femenil Nuevo Tecalitlán embodies the height of mariachi performance in Mexico. LA’s own Las Colibrí juxtaposes traditional instrumentation with experimental repertoire and dress. And Mariachi Flor de Toloache brings their New York edge, fusing traditional mariachi music with contemporary sounds,” Garcia described.
This year Garcia is developing the next generation of young female mariachis and will debut her new group, “Las Jovencitas.” The girls, selected from schools throughout Los Angeles Unified School District, are being mentored by Garcia and will, for the first time, get the experience of performing on a prestigious stage.
Erandi Tapia (Robert Frost Middle School in Granada Hills), Daniela Orozco (San Fernando High School), and Fatima Martinez (Hale Middle School in West Hills) were selected to be members of this young group.
It’s the goal that these girls, as they mature, pass the musical tradition down to those generations behind them.
It’s a similar experience that Garcia had through her mentor, the late mariachi violinist and educator Laura Garciacano-Sobrino known as “La Grandota.” It’s Garcia’s mission to keep Sobrino’s contribution to break down barriers and include female mariachis into the art form going strong.
“Laura was one of the first female practitioners of mariachi and paved the way for many women in the field. She was an important pioneer who educated and inspired many female mariachi musicians through her leadership and wisdom.” Garcia said she is paying that musical gift forward.
“The Jovencitas, who are from various communities in L.A. County, will share their talent and demonstrate how their pride in their cultural heritage can unite communities and keep traditions alive,” Garcia said.
Tickets are available through FordTheatres.org or calling (323) 461-3673 (or 323-GO-1-FORD for non-visual media). To learn about discounts for groups of 10 or more, please visit FordTheatres.org. To find out more about the show, performers, and past productions, visit www.vivalatradicion.com